Waste to Energy Fund: Bioenergy – Stream 2: Information bulletin

Last updated: 27 July 2022
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Answers to questions we receive at our information sessions and via phone and email are published on this page. We only publish answers to questions that are not already covered in the Guidelines.

We will update this page as we receive questions.

Information session

On Wednesday 13 June, Sustainability Victoria held an information session on Stream 2: Project infrastructure of the Waste to Energy Fund: Bioenergy. The session provided an overview of the Fund, project eligibility, the application process and an outline of steps to take before making a submission.

Recording

Questions and answers

Thank you for your questions at the information session. Due to the high volume of questions received, some have been re-worded to benefit as many potential applicants as possible.

This page will be regularly updated, based on questions we receive.

In this section:

Project eligibility

Are state government agencies like public hospitals eligible to apply?

Yes, state government agencies are eligible to apply for this fund. Please indicate in the application if the government entity is a Lead Applicant or project partner.

Is food waste from residents eligible for funding?

Yes, food waste from residents is eligible for funding if they can either be processed through thermal pyrolysis to sequester carbon or through anaerobic digestion process.

You must demonstrate in your application the steps taken to determine waste to energy as the best value option in the waste management hierarchy.

Is kerbside FOGO (Food Organics Garden Organics) an eligible feedstock for a potential Anaerobic Digestion processing application? Either as an exclusive single stream kerbside FOGO feedstock or as part of a combined feedstock (such as, kerbside FOGO combined with commercial and industrial food or agri-organics).

Yes, kerbside FOGO is an eligible feedstock if they can either be processed through thermal pyrolysis to sequester carbon or through an anaerobic digestion process. Any wood waste must meet the exempt wood waste definition in the waste to energy framework.

You must demonstrate in your application the steps taken to determine waste to energy as the best value option in the waste management hierarchy.

Is grease trap waste considered food manufacturing and processing waste?

Yes, grease trap waste (mix of water, oil, grease and organic sludge) is considered food manufacturing and processing waste. Please note that grease trap waste is classified as a reportable priority waste by the EPA. We recommend you understand your environmental obligations, seek clarification from the EPA and perform due diligence on your compliance requirements.

Is abattoir waste like paunch or offal (residuals from slaughterhouses) an eligible feedstock?

Yes, this is considered livestock waste and is an eligible feedstock.

Is plantation forestry residue permitted (native but not indigenous species)?

Yes, plantation forestry residue is eligible to apply if it is a biomass from native forestry or a wood waste as defined under Regulation 8 of Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001. Please complete a self-assessment of the waste to energy framework to test your projects specific conditions.

Are projects for biomass boilers eligible to apply?

Yes, projects for biomass boilers are eligible to apply under specific conditions.

Please check if your feedstock is listed under the scope of our funding. If you are using wood waste, wood waste must be as defined by Regulation 8 of Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001.

Complete a self-assessment of your project with the waste to energy framework to understand how your project complies.

Is a pilot scale for 10 kg per hour eligible for Stream 2 or Stream 1?

Pilot or trial and demonstration projects are eligible to apply for funding.

Project stream eligibility for this project will depend on the intended activities during the project period. You can apply for Stream 1 funding if you want to perform feasibility studies of your project idea. You can apply for Stream 2 funding if the project has reached financial close and is ready for bioenergy infrastructure purchase and commissioning.

Can FOGO be thermally treated to produce biochar?

Yes, FOGO (Food Organics Garden Organics) can be thermally treated through pyrolysis process to produce biochar. You should complete a self-assessment on the waste to energy framework and demonstrate that waste to energy is the best value option in the waste management hierarchy.

Would the recovery of an organic rich fraction from the residual waste stream (Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and putrescible Commercial and Industrial) with subsequent processing through anaerobic digestion be in scope?

To meet eligibility requirements for the Fund materials are required to meet waste classifications. The red MSW bin is ineligible for funding. It would only be eligible for funding if that material undergoes a sorting and recovery process to meet material classifications and conditions. Funding is not eligible to be used for sorting and recovery stages of a bioenergy project.

My project does not divert waste from landfill. Can I still apply?

Yes, applicants whose projects do not divert organic waste from landfill can still apply for funding.

Subject to satisfying eligibility requirements, all projects will be assessed on merit to the objectives of the Fund, including those which do not divert waste from landfill. In the application, projects need to show that the recovered organic material had no higher order alternative prior to waste to energy being considered.

Eligible expenditure

Can I use Stream 2 funding as part of pre-financial closing activities?

No, you cannot use Stream 2 funding for pre-financial close activities. Your project can still apply for Stream 2 funding before reaching financial close.

Reaching financial close would potentially be an early requirement to achieve in your project milestones. You will be required to ensure this risk is controlled.

Is cash contribution from an international company eligible for the cash co-contribution?

Yes, cash co-contribution from an international company is eligible.

Lead Applicants can work with project partners (including international partners) to provide co-contributions to the total project cost; however, the Lead Applicant is responsible for all terms under the funding agreement. The Lead Applicant must demonstrate financial capability to undertake the project.

Is the cost of hiring a researcher counted as a contribution from a research institute?

Yes, the cost of hiring a contract researcher for the sole purpose of project delivery can be counted as a contribution from a research institute. Cash co-contributions can include payments made to third parties, contractors, and external consultancies required for project delivery.

Contributions made to pay existing operating costs, including current and ongoing full-time staff will not be counted towards applicant cash co-contributions.

If projects can be completed ahead of the award, is there provision for back dating payments?

No, retrospective spending is not eligible for funding, such as, expenditure that has been incurred before signing the funding agreement with SV. Projects that receive funding that progress faster than their milestone schedule can request contract variations to cover payments if required.

Does the fund cover the capital costs of integrating a biomass boiler into an existing system that runs on natural gas?

Yes, upgrades or additions to existing bioenergy infrastructure or equipment are eligible to apply.

Will a joint venture of a research institute and a company be considered for the $1:$2 (JV:SV) ratio?

Yes, a joint venture of a research institute and a company can be considered in the co-contribution requirement of the $1:$2 (JV:SV) ratio, if the research institute is the Lead Applicant.

The Lead Applicant is responsible for all terms under the funding agreement. The Lead Applicant must demonstrate financial capability to undertake the project.

Funding

My project has not received planning and regulatory approvals yet is it okay if it hasn't happened yet or can it happen in parallel with making an application?

Yes, applications for planning and regulatory approvals can happen in parallel to Stream 2 funding activities. This is a potential project risk that you would have to consider and flag in your application.

You will want to demonstrate in your application you understand your obligations and have taken steps to achieve any necessary regulatory approvals and permissions. Achieving these markers could potentially be a condition of receiving any milestone funding if the project is successful in receiving funding.

Is Local Government eligible for the cash co-contribution exception of $2:$1 (SV:Applicant) available to Not-for profit organisations, Charities, Community Groups, Co-operatives and Research institutes?

No, Local Government is not eligible for exceptions in cash co-contribution requirements.

Can SV ask for project fund requests to be reduced if a project is suitable but perhaps deemed too costly?

Yes, the evaluation panel might ask for follow up information or other such details during their review process. Value for money is a key criterion of the Fund. Please note that each stream has a cap of funding that a project can ask for.

A business case funded capex project is yet to start – can we purchase capital items via Stream 2 funding?

Yes, Stream 2 funding will cover capital purchase, construction and commissioning costs.

What is the maximum number of projects SV is likely to fund under Stream 2?

There is no maximum number of projects or funding allocated per stream. Each application will be evaluated and ranked on its own merit and not the stream it is part of.

Will there be future funding regarding waste to energy that is under the cap?

No, not at this stage.

Application

Do I need a business case to apply for Stream 2?

No, a formal business case is not required but would be a strong piece of evidence to demonstrate the project's viability. Your application must provide enough information and evidence for the evaluation panel to determine the financial and operational viability of your project.

Are late applications accepted?

Generally, no. Email the Grants Enquiry team before the application deadline for your requests to be considered. There is also a late application process outlined in the Terms of Participation in Grant Programs.

Who should I contact to make changes to my application after submission?

Once you submit your application, you cannot make any changes, except under exceptional circumstances. Email the Grants Enquiry team before applications close for your requests to be considered.

Assistance available

Is it possible to book one-on-one meetings (in Zoom) rather than email for project application discussion?

Yes, please email the Grants Enquiry team to clarify the process.

Timelines

After applications close, when will decisions be made as to the grant outcomes?

Energy issues are real and immediate; therefore, we intend to streamline the decision-making process as much as possible.

Early 2023 is the expected notification date of outcomes. We will provide applicants with updates as often as possible and when necessary.

Other

Has SV worked with the EPA around permit requirements?

Yes, the Bioenergy Fund was designed in consultation with the EPA, DELWP and Recycling Victoria. Due diligence is required from every applicant to understand their legal and environmental obligations and approval requirements.

Contact us

We cannot review drafts or provide feedback.

In the subject line, use the grant name Waste to Energy Fund: Bioenergy – Stream 2: Project infrastructure.